And here she is — Cinderella herself! Mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó performs her role debut in our upcoming 1950s-inspired production of Cinderella. Here is a little Q & A with Krisztina ahead of her undoubtedly spectacular performance as Rossini's enchanting heroine!
We are so excited to have you back at Edmonton Opera. What are you looking forward to the most about performing in Edmonton again?
I love working with Edmonton Opera – I think it’s a very smart, forward-looking company that has been doing some wonderful, interesting productions. We have a great cast, director and conductor for Cinderella – with a great company, great people involved and amazing music, I think Cinderella will be a fantastic show!
You’ve been in The Barber of Seville and will now be taking on Cinderella. What makes Rossini's music unique?
I don’t think anybody writes quite so many notes and words as Rossini does… it’s quite a challenge. But I love Rossini – he writes beautiful, memorable melodies – so there are beautiful arias and duets. He also has a wonderful sense of comedy and those ensembles are pretty amazing. Its great fun to sing Rossini and I’m excited to take on Cinderella for the first time.
What is the most prominent characteristic of Rossini's bel canto composition?
Bel canto literally means “beautiful singing” – its all about the voice, the melody, the beauty of the line. And the Italian language lends itself perfectly to the expression of this beauty of line.
The most difficult/rewarding part about singing bel canto?
I think I mentioned all the many notes and words? That would be the difficult part. The payoff is the music is amazing – I get a beautiful aria, a gorgeous duet and those ensembles are so challenging – rapid-fire fast and full of words, but so much fun when they come together.
What makes Cinderella a compelling character to portray?
I’ve been playing a lot of crazy people lately, so playing Cinderella will be a total change of pace and a breath of fresh air. She is essentially just a good and kind person – she has no malice towards those that mistreat her, though she longs for them to treat her better, to have a better life. And in the end, her goodness, her virtue is rewarded with true love and “happily ever after” with a Prince. It’s a rare and true happy ending in opera.
Is there a particular scene, aria, or duet in Cinderella you’re especially excited about performing?
I don’t think I could pick one thing that I’m most excited about performing – the entire role is a real gift! But, if I had to pick just one thing, I am pretty excited about singing that epic, famous final aria.. Cinderella gets her happy ending, and so will I!
As a whimsical fairy tale, Cinderella lives in its own world. But do you think this opera resonates with any contemporary conversations (social/political/cultural)?
I can think of three things in the opera that would resonate with contemporary conversations: 1. the empowerment of women, 2. status (Don Magnifico’s attitude towards the Prince vs. Valet), and 3. forgiveness.
Name something Edmonton has that Toronto does not (or something Edmonton does better than Toronto).
I have worked with Edmonton Opera 3 times and each time I come, the contract is in January/February. So, I would have to say that Edmonton does winter better than Toronto! Edmonton winters are good and cold and so very Canadian. Oh, and I have to say that I got the greatest winter boots in Edmonton last time I was here… fashionable, funky AND warm and water-proof. And Edmonton has a great LRT. So, you beat us on that as well!
Use 4 words to describe Cinderella.
Fun, beauty, joy, love.
Tickets to our fabulous, vintage 1950s style production of Cinderella are selling fast. Get yours today from just $40!